The Potential of CBN to Support Health and Wellness

Jasdeep Singh
5 min readMay 2, 2021


Could CBN be the solution to your health and wellness issues?

Most people are aware of the two primary cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but did you know there are actually over 114 different cannabinoids, including cannabinol (CBN), that could have therapeutic benefits?

In this article, rather than focusing on CBD or THC, we’re going to take a closer look at CBN and why people worldwide are getting extremely excited about this cannabinoid. We’ll check out what CBN is, some of the potential health benefits of CBN, and what the research into CBN is telling us.

What Is Cannabinol (CBN)?

CBN molecule, Jasdeep Singh
CBN Molecule

Unlike the two primary cannabinoids, CBD and THC, CBN is considered to be a trace cannabinoid, meaning that it exists in small amounts in the hemp plant. Being a trace cannabinoid makes it more difficult to isolate and to collect in large amounts, but doesn’t reflect a lack of therapeutic properties that the other primary cannabinoids offer.

CBN was the first naturally occurring cannabinoid to be isolated back in 1896. CBN is created as a byproduct of THC being exposed to both heat and light. Because CBN is produced as other cannabinoids deteriorate, higher levels of CBN are found in older cannabis strains.

Most research suggests that, unlike THC, CBN has extraordinarily few psychotropic properties. What does that mean? It means that CBN isn’t going to give you that ‘euphoric high’ that’s common with cannabis products high in THC.

The Potential Health and Wellness Benefits of CBN

It’s important to note that even though CBN was one of the first cannabinoids to be isolated, the studies into this cannabinoid are still only their early stages. We still have a long way to go to totally understand the full potential of this cannabinoid. However, as more countries legalize cannabis and hemp, we’re starting to see more pharmacological and human-trial research into CBN, such as for glaucoma and epidermolysis bullosa, a skin condition.

Early results, as well as user feedback, on CBN are showing strong potential for health and wellness benefits for people suffering from chronic conditions.

CBN for Its Sedative Powers

One of the primary areas of interest for CBN use is as a sedative. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, then CBN could be worth a closer look.

Almost 70% of Americans report having sleep issues at least once a week. The issues with over-the-counter and prescription sleep medications are that many can be addictive, rely on hallucinogenic chemicals, or are toxic over time. CBN, like all cannabinoids, works on the body’s endocannabinoid system and reduces side-effects and interactions with other medications.

One study conducted in 1975 noted that CBN, in conjunction with THC, could potentially offer sedative powers. One of the benefits of using CBN over opioid-based prescription medication is that it doesn’t come with a long list of negative side-effects such as addiction, grogginess, nausea, vomiting, and liver toxicity.

CBN for Pain Relief

A 2019 study found that CBN, in conjunction with CBD, could effectively reduce pain in rats. One of the compounds in chili peppers, capsaicin, plays an important role in influencing pain receptors and nerves and is a common ingredient in many topical pain relievers and creams. Some research has shown that CBN could possibly influence the same nerves and receptors as capsaicin.

CBN as an Antibiotic

MSRA is a bacterial infection that’s resistant to many traditional antibiotics. Researchers believe that overuse of antibiotics will lead to an increased amount of MSRAs that are proving increasingly difficult to treat.

A study conducted in 2008 using CBN found that CBN and other cannabinoids could be an effective way to treat MSRAs. The more that antibiotics are overused, the more we will see antibiotic-resistant strains begin to develop and the harder they will be to treat. Cannabinoids such as CBN could be an effective way to disrupt this cycle.

CBN as an Anti-Inflammatory

One of the most exciting areas of interest for CBN is its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Such applications would not only assist with reducing acute inflammation, but also help people dealing with chronic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and much more.

Inflammation in small doses is a regular part of the way that our body protects us as we recover from illness and injury. For example, when you exercise seriously, it causes microscopic tears in your muscles. As these tears heal, then muscles are stronger than before. This process is how you build stronger muscles. The body then floods the area with inflammatory bodies while the tears heal. If you can reduce the amount of inflammation, it makes sense that you could recover faster and build muscle faster.


Although THC and CBD are currently the two most dominant and most heavily researched cannabinoids, it’s important that we don’t forget the other minor cannabinoids, such as CBN. Just because it isn’t as abundant as other cannabinoids, CBN still may have a lot of potential for health and wellness benefits.

Like many of the other cannabinoids, there’s a very good chance that you’re soon going to notice more CBN oils and tinctures, CBN edibles, and even CBN topical creams and lotions available. If you are looking to try out CBN products for yourself, always buy premium CBN products from reputable companies that back up their products with quality guarantees and laboratory testing. Any high-quality cannabinoid product should have a link or QR code to view the chemical’s batch information and contents.

Although the research into CBN as a health wellness product looks extremely promising, we still have a long way to go before we can make any definitive claims about CBN, and more clinical trials are required.

NOTE: This article should be used for learning purposes only and not as medical advice. If you’re currently taking any medications, please speak to your doctor or healthcare provider before taking CBN. Although it’s generally considered to be safe, and anecdotal evidence from CBN users around the world suggests it has minimal negative side-effects, no two people or their conditions are the same, and what works for one person may not work for another.



Jasdeep Singh

Life, like true repentance, is a choice to turn-around: mistake, guilt, apology, responsibility, growth…and writing. Jasdeep Singh CT UConn MBA Candidate